"touch a prostitute".
Why? Because of two main reasons - the first being the fear of HIV/AIDS was at a record high back in the early 1980's. It got so bad by 1986, a law was considered which would have put us, along with anyone they felt was a "high risk" of being infected such as an IV drug user, or a homosexual man, onto an island to "quarantine" them from "decent" society. (It didn't pass.) This meant everyone was terrified of catching HIV/AIDS from being within 10 feet of a prostitute.
Our hotline has taken over 500,000 calls to date. This is because we've been answering our hotline longer then the Polaris "National Trafficking Hotline", and also because we take calls from anyone wanting help to leave any part of the sex industry - not just calls from sex trafficking victims. So we get calls from Playboy Bunnies who have gotten so old they've had to hng up their tails, as well as strippers whose knees have just given out and explaining a G-String to the grand kids is just awkward. We also still offer alternative sentencing to jail/prison, as well as diversion classes.
HOW are we supposed to help women like this man's victim to get out of sex work, and find recovery, when the man who brought her to the USA, and who was not only forcing her into prostitution, but further had even convicted a whole innocent family of sex trafficking so as to appear to be "doing his job"? How would we even get her into a meeting when a man with this much power to trace her movements AND drag her right back to prostitution?
Whih is why NO WE ARE NOT "run like Alcoholics Anonymous". We can't be. I don't know of one alcoholic who has the bar owner locking them up inside the bar and then threatening their family back home with death if they "don't drink". So we aren't dealing with something like the disease of alcoholism forcing someone to drink against their will - but we are however clearly at times dealing with issues where are are finding ourselves forced to "act out" not by our own choice just the same.
Which now shows the public why I've been saying our local chapters have been having to implement whole new security measures just to be able to hold a meeting. Starting when trafficking task forces started partnering with local law enforcement - this was being used much like how the drug cartel would use their local political and law enforcement to alert them when someone was trying to file charges against them.
We had a Lansing and a Detroit program working in cooperation with the courts offering diversion and "alternative sentencing" programs in Michigan. For YEARS, you couldn't get your probation signed off as complete until you'd completed your second year of recovery through court ordered programs if you were a prostitute without attending at least one year of our 12 step meetings. Then the same thing started happening - the women running the local groups started reporting to me they were being threatened into "backing off" doing outreach.
When Metro an the Salvation Army , teamed up to "fight sex trafficking" while also shutting our program out of the whole loop - the end result was a domino effect which started falling with the first tile of "Operion Dollhouse". We'd contacted a reporter we knew and he'd arranged to do a "ride along" the very weekend we knew the police would be making a drop. This reporter barely knew us and we had done this so we couldn't be accused of "setting anyone up". This surprise raid led to two San Mateo, California officers being arrested who were also on the trafficking task force at home. http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/four-indicted-after-brothel-raids
Now it wasn't just the cops who were released - but the 24 VICTIMS were released back immediately despite there being BAGS OF DRUGS found on the site, AND also in violation of our ICE laws which require any non-American arrested needs to be detained unti such time as their visa's are checked, and they're questioned to make sure they are in the country legally AND they're not being trafficked or threatened in any way. It was later proven the cab company was involved in this http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/las-vegas/limo-ceo-aides-plead-guilty-las-vegas-racketeering-conspiracy
Chris was recruiting other active duty respected police officers to be part of this whole operation who were then doing things like taking drugs out of the evidence lockers and then haing his "prostitutes" sell them at the massage parlors and the escort services.
Only how would she get this opportunity if the ONLY outreach being offered to her is by those who are out there arresting girls like her? Especially when these officers were making absolutely 100 percent sure she doesn't go into the area's where she'd then be arrested. Because once arrested she just might venture to start talking about what she knows about these officers. So no I don't believe they were "protecting" just her by keeping her out of those sweeps' area's for one. Two - she will hear about these sweeps on the news who are going to report the hotline they're giving out goes to who? THEM. She already knows anything she says about them is going to be kept quiet. Even if they got to make her quiet. Which we all know can happen now with this Tanaka case where a witness gets lost for three days and even the FBI AGENT CAN'T FIND HIM. http://abc7.com/news/ex-lasd-undersheriff-paul-tanaka-found-guilty-in-corruption-trial/1279159/
I say that because of the people who have called me from the Oakland area who are therapists and social workers in that region who told me they've received calls saying if they "gave any referrals to our program they'd be fired". Three women at a drop-in counseling and crisis center IN OAKLAND in fact did just that - they organized a day for me to come in with a few of our local Oakland members to speak about our program to other counselors and social workers in the area. Those women were then FIRED for their going the extra yard to try and help women like this young lady find help they weren't able to find otherwise for the same reasons she's not found help before now.
I've received calls from good cops who aren't sleeping with young women like her, and who have told me they'd love nothing more than to give her our phone number, or a phone number to another program tat might her help like www.childrenofthenight.org who had she gotten their number before she turned 18 years old - they would have flown her down to Van Nuys on their dime, entered her into their program and she'd be in college most likely by now. Our program has a whole pocket of women residing in Oakland now who used to work in the brothels and strip clubs of Nevada who would have gladly taken hr in once they knew about hr situation, entered her into school, and she'd probably have a degre by now.
2. Fear of dirty laundry hitting the fan - like for example this young woman telling us she's "slept with so and so" and then the workd leaks out and he gts fired. Some of this is because an already burdened police force is not wanting to think about the potential for even MORE lawsuits should mor dirty launder be allowed to be aired. So they want to "bury" these acts of wrong-doing to avoid a lawsuit or bad press - but they aren't realizing this means burying a person under this also - the victims who if they can't call the cops for help then WHO DO THEY CALL?
We don't replace professional treatment nor medications. There's always going to be a need for professionals and doctors. So we're no competition to treatment programs, halfway houses, or other professional programs or professionals.
As for prisons and criminal attorney's - there's other crimes these people get involved in all the time. In fact, if you were to decriminalize prostitution and allow then for more witnesses to come forward and also more evidence to be brought forward to prosecute someone for trafficking - you'd create MORE of a need for beds in correctional facilities and more of a need for criminal attorney's to be defending these bad guys for trafficking then these women for prostitution.
Right now there is a HUGE need for outpatient, free, non-religious, services for thee men and women, as well as juveniles, and their family members, to be openly set up and welcomed so that these victims needing help can get help right now without jail being the gateway to that help. As we've seen with this young lady in Oakland, and the victims of Joohoon David Lee, those who need help the MOST are the LEAST LIKELY to find that help by being arrested unlike that of the addict or alcoholic who almost always find themselves arrested. A guy who is caught doing a DUI isn't going to have it swept under the rug by a cop who doesn't want people to know he say it. Nor also can many victims call for help because in many of their cases they either can't call because the police are involved OR their traffickr/pimp is someone they don't want to call the cops on such as their mother. In our program we have a large number of our members whose pimp/trafficker was a family member - not some stranger on a corner. So they're unlikely to want to turn that person over to the police and have them arrested.
Our program, thanks to technology, can be utlized all over the country for free and without requiring special licensing. Unlike the situation with social workers who are over-burdened with too many cases, and then burn out in six months and another one has to then take over from the top again, leaving juveniles especially with no help once they "age out" of the system as well as having no continuity of care while a juvenile receiving care, let alone any "oversight", Imagine if this country's young alcoholics could only get care from a professional and how lost they'd be. Our program can cross over the lines of the jails, prisons, treatment programs, courts, etc., as well as age, race, religion, gender, etc., and we can reach out help to ANYONE WHO HEARS ABOUT US. Because shame, and the laws, prevent most from reaching out for help - we can offer it to those who don't want to expose themselves in any way for those reasons of shame and fear of incrimination legally.
Also, if you are a family member concerned about someone else - know about www.swan-fellowship.us